The World Triathlon Championship Series Abu Dhabi presented by Daman, came to an end on Saturday with members of the local community and regional athletes putting on some impressive and spirited performances that showcased the best of triathlon.
Following Friday’s elite men’s and women’s races as well as the Para Cup contests, the iconic Yas Marina Circuit welcomed a large number of amateurs for the Age Group categories.
In the season-opener of the prestigious global event, the Age Group races provided an opportunity for athletes of all abilities to participate with 74 nationalities being represented. The event welcomed over a thousand athletes over the course of the weekend, cheered on by spectators around the venue and at the Fan Village.
Among the regional nations taking part were Team UAE as their athletes began their quest to qualify for the Age Group World Championships which takes place in Pontevedra in September.
Olivier Godart, who has been living in the UAE for more than 20 years, was among those to compete on Saturday. He had nothing but praise for the event, saying: “I always love racing on Yas Marina Circuit as it’s a fantastic venue to finish to the race. This is well organised event and while it was very hot, I was pleased to do well.
“I love the sport and training and the process overall. The number of people taking part shows how popular triathlon is and I think if people watch the sport more and see how high-level it really is, then it can grow a lot. Performances like the one we saw from Alex Yee (in the elite race) was fantastic and can inspire a lot of people to follow in his footsteps.”
Besides the racing, people also enjoyed the family-friendly entertainment and activities in the event village in the F1 pitlane.
It was the eighth year that Abu Dhabi hosted the World Triathlon Championship Series race and the Age Group categories underlined how popular triathlon has become in the UAE and around the globe. Friday’s action saw Great Britain’s Alex Yee and Beth Potter triumph in the men’s and women’s races respectively while the junior races also took place.
Mohammed Ahmed Al Rumaithi, Director of International Events at Abu Dhabi Sports Council, said: “The 2023 World Triathlon Championship Series Abu Dhabi showed why triathlon has become one of the most popular sports, attracting not only the world’s best athletes but also providing an opportunity for members of the local communities to experience the sport in a competitive setting.
“It was such a joy to see so many adults and children of different ages, nationalities and abilities – including athletes of determination - embrace this event and see the smiles on their faces as they cross the finish line. This really showcases the power of sport and what it can do to people’s lives.
“Driving participation through sport so people can adopt healthy lifestyles is fundamental to our mission and we hope this year’s event can inspire even more adults and children try out the sport and participate in future triathlon events.”
Hamad Abdullah Al Mehyas, CEO of Daman, said: “We are incredibly proud to partner with the World Triathlon Championship Finals in Abu Dhabi, and to bring world class international sport to the nation’s capital. In doing so, we are helping to consolidate Abu Dhabi’s reputation as a regional centre for international sporting excellence.
“We were happy to see the same fantastic level of community participation this year as we have done previously. The triathlon is just one of a number of Daman initiatives to encourage everyone to be more active, and thereby help improve health, fitness and wellbeing. We wish all participants the best of luck as they take up the challenge.”